Fisher & Paykel? LG? Kenmore???? Pls Help!

autumn.4November 16, 2012

We have a 14 year old Maytag Dependable Care pair and they are on their last legs and we do not want to invest anymore into repair at this point. I have been researching washers and dryers and it seems like everything is a mixed bag. HE, FL, TL, which brand? What is the scoop? It seems FL vs. TL proponents are vehemently divided and I'm not sure which way to go. I also am not familiar with HE as I don't recall those being around when we first bought.

I am not concerned about leaving doors open - we have always left our top load open to combat must/mildew so leaving one open for a FL would not bother me.

I don't really need a gagillion cycles - just want a quiet good cleaning machine that is time efficient. I don't need fancy looks either really.

There are a lot of sales right now due to "Black Friday" coming. We are hoping to shop on Wednesday. Our budget is $1500 for a set. There are quite a few options out there in that range. I am thinking we should go HE?

Anyone care to comment? Have a pair that you LOVE? Have a pair that you HATE?

Any experience with a TL Washer & DRYER? I think that was a Fisher & Paykel we saw. Speed Queen - tried and true? LG - negative reviews on service and part availability?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

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dadoes

What's the specific model of your Maytag and what exactly is wrong with it? It may have many years of useful life remaining if it's the "old-style" two-belt design. My sister has one (model LA512) 28 years old, going strong.

HE = high efficiency ... washing in minimal water and lower temperatures. Majority of washers nowadays are HE, with a few non-HE toploaders still available. All frontloaders are considered HE.

Fisher & Paykel EcoSmart is a pseudo-HE toploader unit. It runs a low-water level pretreatment at warmer temps first, then fills with cooler water for an agitated wash. Shower rinsing is the default, with a deep-fill rinse as an option. The topload dryer has been on the market since 2004. Bought mine in Oct 2004. Best dryer thus far out of what I've used, although I haven't of course used them all.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:21PM
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autumn.4

It's a MDG9316AWW, SERIAL NUMBER 10813933UF - hey made in Newton Iowa - that's a plus.

Our concern is that at this age it could be one thing after another. We have already put other $$ into it. The moisture sensor stopped working many moons ago. Right now the gear is stripped in the knob or something. You can't tell where it's at and to turn it on you have to hold the button down and turn the knob until it turns on which changes each time you try it. Once you get it on there is no telling if it's blowing hot or cold air or how long it will run til it shuts off which today was about every 5 minutes, grrrr. Takes FOREVER to dry anything...

Thanks dadoes for any insight you can share.

So glad to hear that you like the F&P TL dryer...I thought it ingenious to have a TL washer and dryer.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:39PM
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fastonetime

I see some new parts for it here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Appliance parts

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:36PM
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autumn.4

Thanks fastonetime-I think we are at the point that we are thinking it probably is just one of many things that will start to go wrong and really don't want to repair it unless someone knows something else that I don't. :(

So we are now down to the LG Wave top load or the Fisher Paykel top load. It is very hard to decipher what is best when the models change seemingly so frequently. I realize that might not be the case as you don't really shop for appliances all the time but it feels like it when you try to compare models/reviews!

Anyone else for either of those or yet another?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:33PM
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fastonetime

Hi there. I had for a short while the kenmore elite touch screen that's made by lg like the wave force. It used a lot of water but I think due to the huge tub space it got off balance easy. Also I couldn't wash my queen sized comforter well. It never agitated just sat in the water. I like it but it just seemed cheaply made for the price. Not to say it damaged itself during spin and the suspension rods came off and the tub dented the whole cabinet. I was washing my comforter. Sears took it back and gave me a choice to a new washer. I chose a fl Electrolux. Which soon developed way too many issues and needed multiple control boards and motor boards. Got tired of the washing machine game and said screw it. So I bought a use older TL maytag and I can't be happier. Plus love the fact that the loads are done within 25 minutes. Got tired of waiting hours for a single load, or even for a shirt I needed washed or baby's clothes that needed to be done fast.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:46PM
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autumn.4

Hi fast...well I second you there in the load timing. My kids are older but we still frequently need 'fast washing' at the rate they go through clothes and especially dirty sports stuff. I am reading how long a cycle takes in a FL and I really don't think I could do it. The thought of a load taking 90 minutes is just daunting to me - that's ridiculous. Does it really take that much to get some clothes clean? That would mean 1 load a night (throwing it in after work) and then waiting FOREVER to even get it to the dryer. And that is assuming you don't miss time in forgetting that its done and ready to switch. Nothing I hate more than having to stay up late just to wait for the dryer to fold some laundry.

I feel like this is rocket science when it shouldn't be. Thank you for the input on the Kenmore aka LG. We are going on Wednesday to look and make our decision. Sales are too good right now to wait. I was thinking speed queen or FP and then started getting tempted by LG again but I think I'm back to FP. SIL has one that she loves but it's 5 or so years old so of course not the same model that they make now. Argh!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:13PM
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dadoes

Frontloaders can run both short cycles and long. Depends what the user selects. Wash time on any cycle can be adjusted, typically on at least three soil levels (light/short, medium/normal, heavy/long).

I have a 6-years-old Whirlpool Duet at the moment, refurbished it for a friend and have been doing my wash (which includes my grandmother's things) in it while he remodels a rental property where the machine will be used. The normal cycle has choices (total cycle time) of 35, 40, and 55 mins for the three soil levels. May take a tad longer depending on how quick it can balance the load for the spins, but surely won't extend to 90 mins.

The Quick Wash cycle is 25, 30, or 35 mins.

Longest cycle is Sanitary, which heats to 158F (if it can reach that high within the allowed time). Total times of 1:50, 1:55, or 2 hrs for the three soil levels. Of course, it's not required to use that longest cycle for every load that's run!

An extra rinse (total of 3 rinses) adds about 12 to 15 mins to the cycle.

This is the first time I've had hands-on experience with a frontloader and I'm finding that it does an excellent job.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:06PM
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autumn.4

I had ruled them out because of that long cycle non-sense and the cost of the pedestals. Dh is quite tall and I'm not short and didn't want to pay that kind of money to have them at a decent height. We both do the wash and I don't want to make it more difficult for DH to continue helping. It seems so many of them have so many cycle options too - excessively so. Thank you for your input - it does change things a bit (more looking, more research). Yippee, more choices, sigh - not. :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:23PM
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fastonetime

Hi autumn. Some do have a short cycle. Which I've used on the Electrolux FL. But it can only be a small load. A few shirts or so. Nothing heavy like towels or bedding or jeans. Kind of pointless and to me a way to sell the washer. I couldn't handle the hour or more wash time. Plus the FL IMO was harder on the clothes. They piled faster and faded faster. Think about it. The clothes agitate for an hour straight. And that's every load. Glad I went old school to the 25 minute wash, rinse, spin and done! The steam option on the FL is pointless. Plus adds another 20 minutes wash time. I was so done with the FL. More problems, more things to go wrong, more control boards. Just a mess to deal with down the road.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:50PM
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fastonetime

Hi autumn. Some do have a short cycle. Which I've used on the Electrolux FL. But it can only be a small load. A few shirts or so. Nothing heavy like towels or bedding or jeans. Kind of pointless and to me a way to sell the washer. I couldn't handle the hour or more wash time. Plus the FL IMO was harder on the clothes. They piled faster and faded faster. Think about it. The clothes agitate for an hour straight. And that's every load. Glad I went old school to the 25 minute wash, rinse, spin and done! The steam option on the FL is pointless. Plus adds another 20 minutes wash time. I was so done with the FL. More problems, more things to go wrong, more control boards. Just a mess to deal with down the road.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:56PM
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autumn.4

Thanks fastonetime. After more exhaustive research I moved to Speed Queen and really now with the myriad of issues the newer HE machines seem to invoke and with the speed queen being similar to our current machines, wondering if we really should just take a gamble and fix our 14 year old Maytag. ????

dadoes-from prior posts I've read (through my HOURS of scouring posts and reviews) you have intimate experience with fixing machines. Any thoughts on if it'd be worth it to fix it? I included the model number above - bought it in 1998. My concern is that it really could be at it's end of life. When you turn the control knob the tension is not smooth or consistent and will not always turn on where you have it pointed. I think I mentioned above, you have to hold the button down and turn it until it clicks on then try to adjust from there hoping it doesn't shut off.

Thoughts? I'm running out of time on this ping pong adventure.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:52PM
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fastonetime

I'd fix the old machine if possible. no washers now use a real hot wash. It's mixed with cold water. Also they don't use a much water as the older ones and the cycles are 99% of the time an hour or more IMO. What's the model number of your washer? They might have new timers (the main control) avalible. A really easy fix. And I think they're around 100 dollars or so

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:26PM
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dadoes

You're referring to the dryer MDG9316AWW regards to timer trouble, not the washer, yes? You didn't cite a washer model.

Could very well be just the knob is broken, not the timer itself. The knob simply pulls off, should be easy enough to visually determine if the dial is cracked such that it's not anchoring and turning properly on the shaft.

If the timer really is bad, replacement is still available, part number 33001631. Seems to run between $99 and $119 depending on the source.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:00PM
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autumn.4

Yes - the dryer, inconsistent tension in the knob. It doesn't look cracked or damage and you can easily pull it off - it's when you turn it. The washer has been repaired several times but at the moment is fine.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:55PM
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dadoes

There should be a metal clip either on or inside the D-shaped end of the knob so it grips the timer shaft tight for turning. The knob will be loose on the shaft if the clip falls out. The end of the knob can also crack, which can be difficult to see depending on exactly where and how large is the crack.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:14PM
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autumn.4

Thanks dadoes. Will check that out. I don't think it's that based upon how it 'feels' when I turn it - very hard to describe. We checked out the knob pretty good last night but we'll look some more today.

Still on the fence about it all. We are going looking tomorrow. At this point the machine I've seen with the least amount of negative reviews is the speed queen....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:22PM
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fastonetime

I like speed queen ;)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:21PM
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autumn.4

fastonetime - yours is a speed queen? I am losing track of who has what!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:08PM
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fastonetime

Oh no. Mine is a 2008 Maytag Top load dependable care. I like speed queen. And was going to get one. But I live in a small town and the nearest place that sold them was over and hour away and did not deliver to my area. Plus it was around 800 dollars I think at the time. It was new of corse. But I have had front loaders from 2005 up until two weeks ago. I had maytag Neptune, maytag 9000 series, kenmore elite, then I tried the kenmore elite TL/ LG but I didn't like it one bit. Returned it for a Electrolux which I just sold. Really got tired of the hour long washes, I would set the washer to a cycle for say an hour. Then I'd come back within the hour just to find the machine trying to spin. It would take up to a half an hour to figure out the right way to balance the load and spin. I hated that. Sometimes I'd be doing laundry all night till 2 am. So I said screw that. Got the used reconditioned top loader and am happy. Simple and fast. No computers on board to out smart me!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:26PM
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autumn.4

That is the pair we have - the dependable care maytag. I think I'd be ticked to have to babysit the wash like that. Enough other things going on to have to worry about monitoring the wash. That is the worst having to stay up to fold a load so it doesn't wrinkle. Which I think the fisher paykel has that 'fluff' every 10 minutes for 24 hours which would be SOOO handy (not for me because I'm quick about getting stuff out to avoid wrinkles but dh - he's not quite as fussy as I am) but the reviews are mixed. Going shopping tomorrow...I'll report back what the local place says. They have all of the ones that we were planning on looking at. Still leaning speed queen at the moment. :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:43PM
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dadoes

Autumn4, your DC Maytag is a completely different mechanical design than FastOneTime's.

F&P wrinkle prevent runs for 30 seconds every 5 mins, not every 10 mins (unless they've recently changed the pattern). It is a very nice feature.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:58PM
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autumn.4

dadoes-soooo, who is it that has that features? Maytag also? More than one maker? I'd never heard of that before I started this little research project.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:49AM
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dadoes

Surprised you've not known of this feature. The anti-wrinkle function has been on dryers for many years (late 1960s) in various forms and names -- Wrinkle Shield, Wrinkle Guard, Finish Guard, Press Guard, Wrinkle Free, Extended Tumble, etc. It was only on top-of-line models in the past but has been included on some mid-line since the 1980s.

Some dryers simply continue tumbling continuously past the cooldown for a given period of time, 20 to 40 minutes. More deluxe units tumble intermittently (such as 30 seconds every 5 minutes) instead of continuously, and for a longer period. 2.5 hours is the typical maximum time, so F&P's 24-hrs is notable.

Understand, it's not intended to remove wrinkles. It is to prevent wrinkles from forming as might would occur if the dry load was left sitting stationary in the drum for hours after the cycle ended and the machine has shut off. Intermittent, non-heated tumble (or continuous, as the case may be) keeps the items fluffed instead of crumpled in the drum until removed.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:55AM
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dadoes

Regards to which brands ... pretty much all brands offer it on various models.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:57AM
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autumn.4

dadoes-well, it goes like this. My parents had a set of used maytags that they bought when they got married. Those are the only machines I knew and they were old when they got them in the early 70's. So when I moved out (they were still going strong and were about 25 years old by then) and got married my hubby and I bought our current 14 yo Maytags which also did not have that option. Besides brief college stints at laundromats I've only used the ones I grew up with and my current Maytag's. So I guess I didn't know what I was missing! That said - I am usually behind the curve on most things anyhow so no surprise there. I always joke that we are living in the 80's at my house (esp. with electronics).

It was such a tough choice but between the speed queen and the fisher paykel but after himming and hawing at the store we went with FP top load washer and front load dryer. We do have a well and thought using less water would be helpful to lengthen the life of the septic system which is much more costly to replace than a washer and dryer. Store we bought them from says from their experience SQ should last 15-18 years and FP 10ish. We don't do a ton of HOT water washing - just sheets towels so I am hopeful it will be fine.

We bought models: WA42T26GW1 (WASHER) AND DG70FA1-US (DRYER). Old dryer they are picking up and washer we are donating as it still works.

I made sure the FP had the wrinkle/tumble setting. ;) The speed queen had a model that did that also but they didn't have that one in stock. They will deliver on Friday - I'll give it a whirl this weekend I'm sure!

Thank you both for sharing your knowledge and laundry experiences.

Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:58PM
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dadoes

The frontload F&P dryer has the anti-wrinkle option, but it's continuous tumble and runs for 20 to 30 mins. Only the topload dryer models have intermittent tumble for 24 hrs.

(F&P's frontload dryer on the U.S. market is sourced from GE.)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:20PM
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